Ricky Gervais Sparks Social Media Firestorm By Shaming Giraffe Killer

The comedian’s tweet about hunter Rebecca Francis outrages animal lovers, with some hoping the “horrible woman die a lonely, painful death”

Last Updated: April 15, 2015 @ 11:56 PM

Ricky Gervais proved himself to be an animal activist this week when he posted a photo of a female hunter smiling next to the body of a giraffe she had killed.

“What must’ve happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal and then lie next to it smiling?” the British comedian tweeted on Monday.

The woman has been identified as Rebecca Francis, a former contestant on the 2010 reality show “Extreme  Huntress,” and she has since attempted to defend her actions by saying the giraffe was “old and lonely.”

The graphic image quickly sparked a social media firestorm, with fans of both the “Extras” actor and the supporters of the animal kingdom slamming Francis.

“‘She’s so proud of herself!’ < yeah, she probably killed this one to feed the poor locals too ;),” Gervais replied to one Twitter follower.

Other followers even wished Francis herself suffer a similar fate. “May that horrible woman die a lonely, painful death,” another person wrote.

However, Francis claims that she was actually putting the giraffe out if it’s misery as it was elderly and close to death. “When I was in Africa five years ago I was of the mindset that I would never shoot a giraffe. I was approached toward the end of my hunt with a unique circumstance,” she told HuntingLife.com in an interview posted on her Facebook page. “They showed me this beautiful old bull giraffe that was wandering all alone. He had been kicked out of the herd by a younger and stronger bull.”

Francis said she killed the animal to provide food and provisions for the locals. “I chose to honor his life by providing others with his uses and I do not regret it for one second … They also took his tail to make jewelry, his bones to make other things, and did not waste a single part of him. I am grateful to be a part of something so good,” she added.

On Wednesday, Gervais voiced his sympathy for another animal suffering at the hands of hunters when he posted a photo of an orphaned elephant. “Heartbreaking. Getting an orphaned baby elephant through the night after his mum was murdered for ivory,” he wrote.

The actor, who recently returned to Netflix with his comedy series “Derek,” is also calling for the conservation of African rhinos.

“Don’t be surprised when people don’t care about a cause as much as you do. Don’t be deterred either,” he wrote.

See tweets from Gervais and his supporters below.